Brochure MSc CST Jan 2004 by g4039193



            A Masters Programme

                                                        (Dates may be subject to
          COURSE CALENDAR: September 2009                       revision)
              SEMESTER ONE 28 September 2009 to 29 January 2010
Week    Remarks                                       Key Dates
 08     Course Start Enrolment and Course Information 21Sept 2009
                                                      Aberdeen Holiday
 09     Teaching Commences Tuesday 29 Sept 09         28 Sept for 1 day
 12     12 weeks of taught modules
 14     CMM001 Intro to Object Oriented Programming        4 Core Modules
 15     Techniques
        CMM002 computer Systems
 16     CMM003 Relational Database Systems
 17     CMM006 Interactive Systems Development
                                                           End of Teaching
 20                                                        18 Dec 2009
 21     Christmas + New Year Break
22-23   Reading Week
24-25   Assessment Period for 2 weeks                  11-23 Jan 2010
 26     Post Assessment Break                          End of Semester 29 Jan 10
                      SEMESTER TWO 1 February to 28 May 10
 27     Start of Semester 2                            1 February 2010
 28     12 weeks of taught modules
 29                                                     3 Core + 1 Elective Module
 31     CMM004 Software Project Engineering
 32     CMM005 Object Oriented Programming Techniques
 33     CMM012 Project Investgation
 35     April Break                                       5-9 Apr 2010
 36     Elective Choice - Examples of potential electives
 37     CM3009 Perception and Visualisation
 38     CM3056 Interactive Multimedia
 39     CM3063 Interactive 2D Graphics                    End of Teaching 30 Apr 2010
 40     Reading Week
41-42   Assessment Period for 2 weeks                     8-22 May 2010
 43     Post Assessment Break                             24-28 May 2010
                    SEMESTER THREE 31 May to 10 September 2010
 44      Start of Semester 3                              31 May 2010
 46     CMM007 Intranet Systems Development[ over 3 weeks]
 47     15 weeks of project work                           MSc Project
 49     Aberdeen Holiday for 1 day
 05     Assessment Period for 1 week                       7-21 Aug 2010
 06     MSc Project Submission                             End of Course 4 Sept 2009

Re-assessment opportunities are scheduled throughout the academic year in May,
August and January. Failure in any module will normally be reassessed at the next
assessment opportunity in the following semester.

The MSc Computing: Software Technology is a master’s programme, which aims to
provide education and training in software development tools and techniques. This will
extend and enhance the knowledge and skills of non-computing graduates and prepare
them for a career in the design and implementation of Information Technology solutions
for commerce and industry.

The rationale for the course is to:

   satisfy the demands of industry for software developers and computing practitioners

          are proficient in the use of modern software tools and environments;
          can match tools and technologies to the needs of commerce and industry;
          are able to integrate the use of these tools in the framework of an appropriate
           development methodology to develop high quality software solutions.

   provide an integrated and coherent programme of education that lays the
    foundations for continuing professional development of the computing practitioner.

The technical content of the course is directed towards the study of state-of-the–art
software development tools and techniques.

At all stages of study, the course content is complemented by practical work intended to
reinforce the learning process but also to enhance the vocational relevance of the
programme of study.

The syllabus content also incorporates course units intended to foster the technical and
professional skills required to manage and execute large-scale software development


   to foster knowledge and in-depth understanding of the capabilities of modern
    software development methods and tools;

   to develop competence in the analysis and specification of the information storage
    and processing needs of industrial and commercial applications;

   to produce practitioners who can match and integrate appropriate software
    technologies, and thus implement effective solutions to the requirements posed by a
    system specification;

   to develop the skills to plan and monitor the conduct of the development process
    with a view to ensuring delivery of a quality- assured product;

   to provide a sound basis for further continuing professional development.


1. Technical Themes

   Software Development
   Database Systems
   Human Computer Interaction
   Intranet Systems Development
2. Summary of Core Technical Modules

Title                   Indicative Module Content                         Assessment
Introduction to O-O     Classes, instance objects, instance members,      Coursework
Programming             methods, class objects, class members, class      100%
(15 credits)            methods, composition and inheritance, O-O
                        design approaches, UML, O-O toolkits for GUI

Computer Systems        Data representation (binary, octal, hex, etc.),   Examination
(15 credits)            microcomputer structure (CPU, ALU, etc.),         100%
                        operating systems, user interfaces, file and
                        memory management, data comms., protocols,
                        networks, network operating systems

Relational Database     ER modelling, relational modelling (tables,       Coursework
Systems                 relationships, normalisation), queries and SQL,   30%
(15 credits)            DBMS issues (transactions, recovery, security),
                        database architectures (client-server,
                        distributed), application development

Intranet Systems        HTML, dynamic HTML, forms, client-side            Coursework
Development             JavaScript, Java applets, document control,       30%
(15 credits)            server-side JavaScript, CGI scripts, Java
                        servlets, database connectivity (JDBC, ODBC),
                        intranet system case studies.

O-O Programming         More Object Oriented design concepts,             Coursework
Techniques              inheritance, graphical user interfaces and        100%
(15 credits)            advanced O-O window toolkits, use for design,

Software Project        Project plan, team management, QA, legal        Coursework
Engineering             requirements, requirements analysis, interface  100%
                        design and evaluation, documentation, O-O
(15 Credits)
                        design methods, testing, system evolution, user

Interactive Systems     Usability, user classes, task-based design, user- Coursework
Development             object based design, dynamic modelling,           100%
(15 credits)            dialogue and icon design, information and
                        control layout, cognitive modelling, evaluation,
                        CSCW systems, multimedia and hypermedia

3. Professional Training Themes

 Software Project Engineering
 MSc Project
4. Summary of Professional Training Modules

Title                    Indicative Module Content                           Assessment

Software Project         Project plan, team management, QA, legal        Coursework
Engineering              requirements, requirements analysis, interface  100%
(15 credits)             design and evaluation, documentation, O-O
                         design methods, testing, system evolution, user

MSc Project              Selection of an approved industry project or        Coursework
Investigation            university based project, definition of project
(15 credits)             aims and objectives, evidence of independent
                         investigation of project context, citation of
                         relevant sources, insight and understanding of
                         the problem, critical evaluation and selection of
                         project methodology, identification of project
                         resources and a report of initial findings.

MSc Project              This 45 credit module forms the second phase        Coursework
                         of the project. The tasks combine approaches
(45 credits)                                                                 100%
                         to design with evaluation of chosen design and
                         implementation, level of innovation, test
                         specification and schedule, user manual and
                         installation instructions, review document with
                         recommendations for future development,
                         detailed software specifications including
                         method and interface specification,
                         demonstration of the operational project, oral
                         presentation of interim and final solutions,
                         poster and a final report including all

5. Typical Projects

MSc project titles in the January 2002 cohort were:

A Boolean Logic /Logic Gates Computer Based Learning System
A Bus Company Database
A Case-Based Reasoning System for Estimating House Prices
A Configurable Instrumented Word Processor
A Ferry Company Database
A Java GUI for a Case-Based Reasoning Toolkit
A Java GUI for the PC-Based KRUST Tool
A Java Library for Over-Constrained Problems Solving
Algorithms and Data Structures in C#
A Mosaic Design Tool
A Microprocessor and Assembly Language Simulator for CBL
An Email Content Browser
An Information Landscape Viewer for Clustered Document Collections
An Interactive Virtual Museum Application Using VRML
A Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
A Prototype Security System
A Searching Toolkit in Java
A Simple Mobile Robot
A Tool to Display Continuous Intensive Care Unit Data
Atomic Interaction Model
A 3D Interactive Car Showroom for the World Wide Web Using VRML
Comparing Relaxation Techniques for Constraint Satisfaction Problems
CORBA Distributed System – Personal Banking
CORBA Distributed System – Train Booking Reservation
Developing Search Engines
Display of Golf Swing Analysis in Human Gait Laboratory
Evaluating Search Engines Using Real Tasks and Users
Free-Form Deformation of Computer Graphics Surfaces
Game Playing
Image Processing Tools
Magic Eye Pictures
Image Retrieval in Pixel/Compressed Domains
Information Visualisation and Computer Graphics in Java for the PC
K-Means Clustering for Nearest Neighbour Retrieval
On-line Catalogue for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Solutions
Problem Analysis in Human Gait Laboratory
Reinforcement Learning for Route Finding
Remote Virtual Instrument over the Internet
SAM - A web-based Student Absence Monitoring system
School Time-tabling using Constraint Programming
SmartSkim - An Intelligent Document Browser
StEVe - A web-based Student Elective Voting system
Student Electives Information and Administration Support
Student Placement Information and Administration Support
Survey Analysis Package
The WAP Protocol
Three Dimensional Computer Graphics in Java for the PC
Tidier Trees
Two Dimensional Computer Graphics in Java for the PC
Using VRML to Enhance Educational Web Pages
Virtual Cruising in Scotland
Virtual Sculpting Using Implicit Surfaces
Virtual Sculpting Using Parameterised Surfaces
Visualisation for CBR Case Retrieval
Wavelet Analysis of Pilot Control Activity
WebLink – Generating “soft” hyperlinks using web searching
3D Visualisation of Controlled Helicopter Trajectories

6. Elective Module

In addition to the above, there is one 15-credit elective module.

The Course Leader on an annual basis determines the choice of electives available to
students and the list indicated on the calendar is modules included in previous courses.

The availability of any particular elective is subject to:
    a viable class size,
    feasibility of timetabling
    staff availability
    all module prerequisites (if any) are satisfied

Students may elect a topic of specialist interest or one, which offers advanced study of
one of the existing course themes. Electives on offer previously included:
Concurrent Programming
Introduces students to the key concepts of concurrent programming. Enables students to
become familiar with the use of a support environment, which allows multithreaded
execution of programs on shared memory architecture. Develop students’ skills in
concurrent software design. [threads, semaphores, monitors, message passing]

Information Management Systems
Provides students with the ability to explain information retrieval and advanced OO
database systems and also the relationship between database and information retrieval
systems. [object data management systems, information retrieval, retrieval models, and

Information Strategy Planning
Provides students with and understanding of how organisations use information as an
asset to support their business goals and how this aim is assisted by creating and
Information Strategy Plan. [mission objectives, corporate strategy, strategy plan,
enterprise information system, critical success factors, business process engineering,
workflow analysis, data warehousing, and knowledge management]

Interactive 3D Graphics
Provides students with the ability to evaluate the principles of modelling and rendering
3D objects and building interactive 3D graphics applications using VRML and JavaScript.
[3D modelling, 3D rendering, 3D tools, VRML, JavaScript, Ray Tracing]

Entrepreneurial Systems
Develops student awareness of the nature and worth of entrepreneurs and
entrepreneurship in society and to the economy. Encourages students to utilise the
various concepts of entrepreneurship in understanding the new venture process, and
also to appreciate the risks, rewards, opportunities and realities associated with
entrepreneurship [Entrepreneurship, innovation, entrepreneurial characteristics, finance
and E-commerce for small businesses].


 Postgraduate Certificate in Computing: Software Technology (60 credits)

                     After completion of four of the 15-credit modules

 Postgraduate Diploma in Computing: Software Technology (120 credits)

                     After completion of all eight of the 15-credit modules

 Master of Science in Computing: Software Technology (180 credits)

                     After completion of the Diploma and the MSc project


The course runs for one full calendar year and has two starts each year, one in
September and one in January. Detailed calendars for each start will be found on the
inside cover of this brochure. Students initially enrol on the MSc programme with
progression being determined by overall performance in examinations and coursework.

Three study modes are available:

 Full-time
 Part-time: requires attendance for approximately 8 hours per week and offers the
  opportunity for continuing professional development in parallel with current

Individual modules may also be available as full cost short courses or by CPD. (For
further information, see


For detailed information about fees contact the Tuition Fees Team via the e-mail address

If you have no access to the internet the telephone number (01224 262664) can be
Please note that applicants are NOT eligible for studentships from the Student Awards
Agency Scotland.

The University awards a small number of partial studentships for international students.


The normal minimum entry requirement is:

 A Degree or Honours Degree in a non-Computing discipline.

This requirement may be relaxed for applicants holding a qualification or industrial
experience of equivalent standard.


As you can see from the course calendar, the course starts in September 2009 and ends
in September 2010. The Assessment Board will meet during September 2010 to approve
your results, which you will receive at the beginning of October. You will therefore
require a 14-month student visa.

You will need to be in Aberdeen on 21st September 2009 for the Course
Induction Programme and University Registration.       Classes start on 29th
September 2009 and you are required to be here prior to this date. Applicants
will not normally be permitted to join the course later than 1 week after the
start of teaching.

After successful completion of the course in September 2010, you will need to apply for
a visitors visa should you wish to return to Aberdeen for the Graduation Ceremony in
December 2010. The University will be happy to confirm to the UK Borders Agency, that
you have completed your studies and wish to return to Aberdeen for the Ceremony.

On completion of the course, you may wish to apply for the Tier 1 post study visa
(formerly the Fresh Talent Initiative (FTI) scheme) if you have a current student visa. If
your application is successfully this may allow you to remain and work in the country for
up to two years. For up to date information you should check the following web pages
However, in the unlikely event that you are required to be re-assessed in any element of
the course, the work will need to be completed during the next assessment diet.
Assessment diets are scheduled throughout the academic year in May, August and
January. In the event of re-assessment being required, after receipt of your results in
October 2010, the University will provide you with a written statement for the UK
Borders Agency, to confirm that a student visa extension is required.

All information requests made with regard to funding should be directed to
Student Finance – see the section on funding for contact details.

It should be noted that the School monitors all student attendance at timetabled classes.

Information regarding scholarships for International students can be found in the
following web pages

The University has a language level requirement for overseas students which can be
found on the following web page:

Pre-entry English Language Courses are offered by the University to enable international
students to improve their language level prior to commencing their academic

These courses are priced per module. At the end of the course students will be required
to sit the IELTS exam for which there is also a charge

Further information is available on
Web Page.

e-mail address


Information about self-catering University flats can be found via web page


   Software Engineer
   Applications Developer
   Database Developer
   Intranet and World Wide Web services developer


The School has various computer systems that include a machine room containing 8 Unix
servers, 4 Netware servers, and 12 laboratories of various sizes containing either
Pentium III or Pentium 4 PC’s running Windows XP. The laboratories consist of two 17-
seat PC and two 23-seat PC laboratories; three 24-seat PC laboratories; two 23-seat PC
laboratories; a 26-seat multimedia PC laboratory; and a 10-seat multimedia PC project
laboratory. We also have a 21-seater lab, which is used to present Microsoft Short
courses. Moreover, each member of staff has a workstation on their desk, either a Sun
workstation or a Pentium based PC. In each laboratory there is access to the UNIX
environment through emulation software. Access to other equipment (such as SUN, SGI
or Apple workstations) is achieved through project work.

Relevant software includes Java, Microsoft Access and Access Basic, Microsoft Project,
Microsoft Office, Oracle RDBMS, Netscape Communicator.


                                   Informal Enquiries
                      Derek Shirreffs (Year Tutors and Admissions)

                   Dr John McCall (MSc/PgD/PgC CST Course Leader)

                                 School of Computing
                            The Robert Gordon University,
                                  St. Andrew Street,
                                ABERDEEN, AB25 1HG
                              Scotland, United Kingdom
            Tel: +44 (0) 1224 262768/262780 Fax: +44 (0) 1224 262727

At the time of printing the information was believed to be correct although the course is
under continual review and changes may result.

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